Royal Mail today unveils its Christmas Special Stamps for 2019, designed by Charlie Smith Design. The London studio worked with paper-cutting artist duo Hari and Deepti to craft this year’s Nativity-themed collection. The result shows how studios can collaborate with artists to deliver a design that is both contemporary and classic, fresh and traditional.
Charlie Smith Design previously designed Special Stamps to commemorate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday, as well as the collectible products to accompany the Songbirds issue in 2017.
Catharine Brandy, Design Manager at Stamps & Collectibles, Royal Mail, said: “Charlie Smith Design not only have the creativity and expertise required for this type of project, but their extensive experience collaborating with illustrators and artists ensured an interesting interpretation of the brief.”
Rich traditions and contemporary design
This year’s Christmas stamps feature traditional Nativity scenes. The 1st class stamp focuses on Madonna and Child, while the other images include an angel, Joseph, shepherds, Three Wise Men and a manger scene.
A challenge for Charlie Smith Design was to keep the design bold and contemporary but differentiable from previous years, whilst always ensuring the detail holds when reproduced at such a small size.
Part of the brief was to achieve a three-dimensional quality. “We explored a variety of mediums from tapestry to wood to engraving, but paper cut art proved to be the most suitable to retain the most amount of detail”, says Charlie Smith, Founder and Creative Director at Charlie Smith Design. Hari and Deepti were the perfect fit with their intricate paper-cut light boxes, meticulous and beguiling compositions which create stylistically unique rich, jewel-like scenes wholly appropriate for the festive season,” adds Smith.
Charlie Smith Design together with Hari and Deepti developed compositions that allowed an element of creative freedom, whilst keeping within Royal Mail’s guidelines to ensure legibility of The Queen’s silhouette, and the value of the stamp. The studio worked closely with all involved to deliver the best result.
In addition to working on the Christmas issue, the studio also designed the accompanying collectible products, including the Presentation Pack and First Day Cover.
Lighting up Christmas from November
“We’re honoured to work with Royal Mail again, and it was a privilege to collaborate with such talented paper-cut artists for this iconic collection. We’re delighted with the results and can’t wait to spread the festive cheer with these designs,” concludes Smith.
The stamps are available to the public for purchase from 5 November.
Source: Charlie Smith Design